Christmas and New Year have, despite my best intentions, been relatively running-free. It was therefore with eagerness (and a hint of guilt at my seasonal excesses) that I set off onto the Glyders a few days ago.

[insert snow-related pun]

Written by Haydn Williams

Christmas and New Year have, despite my best intentions, been relatively running-free. I did however manage to resist chocolate and cakes – until Christmas Eve, at least. It was therefore with eagerness (and a hint of guilt at my seasonal excesses) that I set off onto the Glyders a few days ago. Idwal was busy at 08:15, but I soon pulled away from the walkers and climbers, and had Tryfan to myself.

Llyn Caseg-fraith and beyond. © Haydn Williams 2014
Llyn Caseg-fraith and beyond. © Haydn Williams 2014

There was plenty of snow around, but my Mudclaws did their usual sterling work and the ascent and subsequent descent to Bwlch Tryfan was great fun. The scree slope next to Bristly Ridge was less endearing, and I soon remembered why I usually avoid it in the snow. Along the tops was reasonable running in good weather though, and I didn’t see anyone else until the summit of Glyder Fawr.

Patriotic selfie atop Y Garn. © Haydn Williams 2014
Patriotic selfie atop Y Garn. © Haydn Williams 2014

From there it was the enjoyable descent to Llyn y Cwn, albeit with not quite enough snow to make it the preferred flat-out, ice-axe flailing, sliding-as-much-as-running fun-fest it often becomes in winter.

Someone else struggling up in the increasing winds. © Haydn Williams 2014
Someone else struggling up in the increasing winds. © Haydn Williams 2014

Up-and-down Y Garn and then back to Ogwen via Devil’s Kitchen. Definitely a great way to burn off probably 1/100th of the Christmas food and drink.

Stuart and I managed a great New Year run last year, and this year we did the same again albeit a couple of days earlier. With plenty of snow still lying we decided that the White Peak was the order of the day, and it didn’t disappoint.

The White Peak - unexpectedly interesting. © Haydn Williams 2014
The White Peak – unexpectedly interesting. © Haydn Williams 2014

We did a nice loop from Earl Sterndale to take in Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, finishing over High Wheeldon. The really snowy bits were hard work, but nicely interspersed with some scrambly terrain of the type I didn’t expect to find in the White Peak.

Looking towards a cloudy Chrome Hill. © Haydn Williams 2014
Looking towards a cloudy Chrome Hill. © Haydn Williams 2014
Stuart reaches the top of Chrome Hill. © Haydn Williams 2014
Stuart reaches the top of Chrome Hill. © Haydn Williams 2014
Parkhouse Hill, the next objective. © Haydn Williams 2014
Parkhouse Hill, the next objective. © Haydn Williams 2014
Worth the climb: looking south from High Wheeldon. © Haydn Williams 2014
Worth the climb: looking south from High Wheeldon. © Haydn Williams 2014

With a healthy 650m of ascent ticked off within 10.5km, we returned to the car past the decidedly dodgy-looking and BMC-owned Aldery Cliff (reviewers’ highlights include “whole crag needs a good gardening session“, “poorly protected and a waste of time” and “Dirty at the bottom and choss at the top“!) and a scenic drive home through snow-covered Derbyshire.

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